Demo Program

Photo Courtesy of The Wisconsin Historical Society
The Demonstrator Program of 1950

It was designed to be the Biggest National Advertising campaign in IH history. With special farmall tractor advertising plans to local dealers to tie into the national campaign. Three films were made to train salesman on how to demonstate the equipment and increase sales. Special displays for the tractors and merchandising were created as well.

The films and training sessions instructed the sales staff to:
know your market
know the farmall cub and its implements
know the farmall cub sales features
know competitive products
know how to find cub prospects
know how to give cub demonstrations
know how to close the sale

These films also contained the theme jingle of salesman:
We've just begun to fight
But competitors are in full flight
We're bound to do all right
With Farmalls painted white
Let somebody else sing the blues!
IH dealers have a happy new tune - White Farmall.

This song, WHITE FARMALL, was a "rootin, tootin" theme song help IH dealers all over America break sales records. "Tongues that used to wag about the weather now keep coverstions humming about Farmalls painted white, with red wheels and gold stars.

Dealers were pressured to increase their sales staff during this campaign that lasted most of 1950, as they wanted to "milk" the most out of this opportunity. Some dealerships took staff from the back shop, replaced them, and moved the mechanics up front and had them selling tractors as they were more familiar with the tractors than those fresh off the street. Most dealerships employed outside sales people and "inside" sales people. Meaning the ones that would go out and do demonstrations in the field and sell tractors at the farmers home, and those that would sell the tractor in the dealership. Dealers were also encouraged to do local advertising getting as much as 1% ($5) of the sale price of a cub back from IH for each cub sold. Cub's were selling just under $600 back then, more or less depending on the options.

Dealers were also provided with plans on how to make a tilt bed trailer. This trailer could be used to haul a Farmall Cub or Farmall A. The salesman could hook up to the trailer, drive the tractor right onto the trailer, hook up, and take off to a farmer for a demonstration. Do a demonstration and repeat several times a day with very little effort. Sales figures show clearly that the field demonstrations were the key to selling. Salesman were provided with satin ties that had a white Farmall Cub imprinted on them to wear when in the office and in the field demonstrating. The ties came in solid colors only, red, green, brown or blue. They were designed as a sales incentive. The dealers were even encouraged to give the tie to customers that bought a Farmall Cub for further advertising of a White Farmall.

Early 1950 the 100,000 cub rolled off the line. Having sold this many is "proof positive" that this tractor is here to stay. The 100,000 cub went to the Omaho, Nebraska district, its exact location is unknown at this time. With unprecendented sales by April for the "Star Studded White Farmall's" more and more orders were being placed. Even though things were going well IH insisted that local dealers continue to push strong with local advertising, "It's Farmall time, all the time."

With the belief, "Demonstrate 'em White...Sell 'em Red and stay in the Black." IH was strong in pushing local dealers to get farmers behind the wheel of the demonstrator. They wanted each dealer to "sweat and toil" in their efforts to get a "red farmall all over their trade territory. Some dealers apparently violated the policy of using the demonstrators to demonstrate only, and sell the red ones. As replacement orders were recieved and multiple orders for demonstrator Cubs were recived by numerous dealerships during the big sales push.

IH wanted their dealers to do four things during this campaign: Advertise, canvass their territories, demonstate the product to everyone in their territories, and sell. IH established sales quotas for each dealership. With input from the zone office. Even the smallest of territorities were expected to sell 13 cubs during the campaign that started in January and lasted till August. However a "wide awake" salesman could exect to sale a cub each week. It was reported that some eager salesmen would go to the county commissioner and get locations of all farmers in their area and develop a plan and route on how to sell and reach all of them. If they were going to do a demonstration of a specific implement, such as a hammermill, they would call ahead and encourage others to come over and observe and to bring their friends. Thus turning an individual showing into a "group meeting" An orginal cub fest? Perhaps?

Some of the dealers were so excited about the program that they went ahead and painted cubs that they had in stock white to start their campaign, while others that couldnt get Demo's later on would paint a "stock" cub white for the sales event. Thus answering the question "What about those "demo's" found outside the commonly acccepted ranges." It is also known that some of the cubs produced in this range appear to have never been painted white. So it is unclear how many true "Demonstrators"there were.

One of the sales tactics dealers used was cold canvassing. They had a "Call on every farmer" campaign. Salesmen would load up on their tractors and head off down the road and drive into every farm along the way. This door to door sales tactic was found to be very effecitve in selling the tractor, getting leads on those who maybe interested in the tractor and doing demonstrations. Often the salesman would bring along more than one implement to show how easy it was to interchange the item, and thus be able to demonstrate more than one item at each showing, thus increasing his market.

All of the above information was obtained from the Wisconsin Historical Archives.

Farmall Cubs 99536 - 106511 = 6975

Super A 281269 - 285398 = 4129

C 47010 - 54410 = 7400